Monday, November 12, 2012

Pumpkin Palooza!

Every year my library hosts an event called Pumpkin Palooza right before Halloween. This year we had the added excitement of an approaching hurricane! Luckily, the program went off without a hitch and the hurricane missed us.

The program is an extremely budget friendly one. The main expense is staff time due to all the crafting, but that can obviously be toned down.

The outline for the program is:
  • Patrons bring in carved pumpkins from home and fill out an entry form.  
  • An all ages storytime starts. I'll post my Halloween storytime later.
  • After storytime, a costume parade commences throughout the library.  Each service desk had a special goodie to hand out to the kids. 
  • When everyone is done trick-or-treating, winners from the pumpkin contest are announced and refreshments are served.  
Remember how I said the program was budget friendly? The only expense for this program was buying apple cider.

All of the trick-or-treating goodies were leftover Summer Reading prizes that would not be usable for next year. The winners of the pumpkin carving contest won a book and the delicious donuts we served were donated by a local donut shop.

We use movable walls in our lobby when we have a big program, since we do not have an actual program room.  The walls are kind of ugly, so I'm a big believer in over-decorating. All the pumpkins, leaves, etc were made by the children's staff!

We also held a staff pumpkin decorating contest earlier in the week. I asked the staff to keep their pumpkins at the library and used them to decorate. They ended up being a perfect decoration for the storytime area!

Even with the approaching hurricane, this year's Pumpkin Palooza was the highest attended ever! We had over 90 participants, which is huge for us. This was definitely a fun and easy program that will continue to be repeated every year. The thing I'm most proud of? I made this scary house by hand. Yes, I watched like 10 Youtube videos before and during. However, my stick figures are usually crooked, so I was definitely happy with the results.

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